Blog: Collaborating with our suppliers to achieve a sustainable future

  • 19/06/2023
  • Written by Alastair Clay

Our focus for June is #SocialValueMatters. In this blog, Alastair Clay, our Sustainability and Social Value Manager, addresses the steps that we and the NHS are taking towards our SSV goals.

Evermore increasingly, sustainability is becoming a word that is used in everyday life. It is something that we as individuals and organisations must consider in how we operate, both in the present and the future, ensuring we provide future generations with the best possible environment in which to thrive in, as well as positively impacting what we can now.

At NOE CPC, we seek to be a provider of choice for both customers and suppliers. A key part of this is ensuring that the frameworks offered, through our close partnering with suppliers, are working to be as sustainable as possible. We are clear that this is not an overnight process, and something we cannot do alone as a framework provider. We aim to be collaborative, approachable and progressive in all areas of sustainability on our frameworks, and the training and events being run both now and in the future.

Social value goes hand in hand with sustainability as part of our commitment to being an ethical framework provider. We achieve this by engaging with our suppliers and applying the core social values of equality, innovation and education, improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities, creating social capital and importantly looking after the environment.

We adhere to the five key themes of the Government Social Value Model: tackling economic inequality, fighting climate change, equal opportunity, wellbeing and Covid-19 recovery.

NOE CPC will continue to work closely with the Central Commercial Function at NHS England to ensure it is doing everything it can to be sustainable and achieve social value. NHS England, collectively, is currently one of the biggest polluters nationally and, therefore, is taking steps to get to net zero emissions.

The release of “Delivering a net zero NHS” was first published in October 2020 by Greener NHS (a directorate within NHS England) and was the first step into this achievable journey. The document contains key legislative sustainability targets for the NHS (and therefore suppliers providing for it through scope 3 emissions):

  • for the emissions we control directly (the NHS Carbon Footprint), net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032
  • for the emissions we can influence (our NHS Carbon Footprint Plus), net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039

As a furthering from the targets above, NHS England also released its forward facing Net Zero Supplier Roadmap which communicates what requirements both NHS contracting authorities and suppliers will be held accountable for during any current and future tendering processes to ensure that sustainability is at the core of all future decision making on commissioning.

The first, and currently most important, sustainability lever within all new procurements, is the requirement for social value to be embedded via a minimum of 10% of the total tender weighting. This provides the opportunity for NHS contracting authorities to work collaboratively with awarded suppliers to deliver relevant social, economic, and most importantly, environmental change through all future spend. This is a key area of focus as we want to ensure all customers using our frameworks are receiving relevant and additional social value benefit through their spend.

Secondly, since April this year, Carbon Reduction Plans will now also be required from all suppliers providing on frameworks where any individual call-off is forecasted to be £5m or more per annum (ex-vat). For more information on this, please read our blog, Support for Your Carbon Reduction Plan.

If you require any further information on how we are embedding Sustainability and Social Value into everything we do, please contact our Support Desk.

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